Happy New Year 2016!

January 6, 2016

Dear Parents,

New Year’s greetings and a blessed 2016 to all! May the coming year, in this Year of Mercy as proclaimed by Pope Francis, bring the gifts of peace and joy to you and your child(ren).   Here at Holy Family School, we are looking forward to many events, activities, and excellent instruction in the coming months.  As always, our efforts are guided by prayer and the model of the Holy Family, Jesus Mary and Joseph.  At Mass last weekend, Fr. Dan challenged us to include in our new year’s resolutions a commitment to writing in our calendars each day something for which we are thankful.  This spirit of gratitude will serve us well through the successes and challenges of the months ahead.

2015 ISTEP+ Update – for all parents with students in grades 4-9 – After repeated delays due to numerous issues with last year’s State assessments, the updated student scores, including re-scores, have been released this morning.  Please read the following memo dated January 4th from Dr. Michele Walker, Director, Office of Student Assessment:

Results of your student’s ISTEP+ Spring 2015 test will be released through the Indiana Parent Network on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.  The Invitation Code you received last fall from the test vendor, CTB, will enable you to see the reults of your student’s ISTEP+ test in the Indiana Parent Network. If you misplaced the Invitation Code, your student’s school will be able to access the code beginning on January 6 to assist you.

The Spring 2015 version of ISTEP+ measured student progress on the new college-and career-ready Indiana Academic Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics.  These standards, which were first taught during the 2014-15 school year, represent higher-level thinking skills and are more challenging for students.  The results of the new ISTEP+ test reflect an in increase in expectations regarding students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Because the 2015 ISTEP+ was the first state assessment to be based on Indiana’s new, more rigorous college and career ready standards, these scores are not comparable to previous pass rates.  The 2015 ISTEP+ results instead established a new baseline for student progress toward college and career ready benchmarks.   If you have questions regarding ISTEP+ results, please contact your student’s school for assistance.


(see page 2 on reverse side)

January Istep+ letter, p. 2

Parents, if you already accessed your child’s preliminary scores earlier this Fall, you should not expect a significant change in the scores since that time.  However, some families did request a re-score which may or may not reflect a change, and slight adjustments were made by the State at different grade levels and subject areas due to differences in paper-pencil vs. online administration of the tests. If you have NOT accessed your child’s scores, please do at this time.  If you need assistance with your pass code or accessing the parent network, Mrs. Kirkham, our Learning Coordinator, will be able to assist you.

Corporation and school reports have been released today as well as individual student scores, but school accountability grades are scheduled to be released later this month.  Once the accountability grades are released, we will publish our school’s report and Archdiocesan comparison report as well as the accountability grade.  As it is, we are working on preparations for the 2016 ISTEP+ assessments that are just around the corner beginning in March.  

In the meantime, have a great January!


Peace to all,


Jerry Ernstberger